Like it or not, the internet revolves around content. It’s how we entertain ourselves, find information, even shop! Naturally, brands are going out of their way to invest in creating quality content that they can use for marketing purposes.
But what good is high-quality content if nobody sees it? This is why you have to optimize your content for search engines, that way you’re getting as many eyes on it as possible.
Here are 7 steps anyone can take to optimize their content for popular search engines like Google and Bing.
Convert Your Concept Into a Searchable Question or Phrase
The premise of creating quality informational content is solving a problem; a problem that usually sprouts a question or two. These are the very same questions your potential customers will likely type in Google or ask their AI Virtual Assistant. Wouldn’t it be great if your video, infographic or blog post came up in the SERPs just as they asked their question? This is the first step of quality content optimization.
Before coming up with a list of arbitrary questions, first consider your audience. Ask yourself:
? why are they asking themselves this question(s)?
? how will this answer benefit them professionally?
? how would they phrase such a question?
To best nail this down, we suggest investing some time creating buyer personas, which represent your ‘ideal customer’. Note, this persona won’t account for all of your customers, but they will leverage data to better inform you of their wants and needs.
Compile Your Keyword List and Search Them On SEMRush
With your main idea at the forefront, you can now start putting together a list of keywords you’d like to go after. These keywords can be composed of phrases and short questions that will make up your article.
When coming up with keywords, we encourage people to only focus on a few at a time and ensure they aren’t overly general. The more general, therefore searchable they are, the more competitive they’ll be, thus harder to rank for.
You’ll want to target keywords with enough search volume to justify the article without shooting for the stars too early. With that, you should view your options in SEMRush, that way you can be sure you aren’t wasting your precious time. You can also reference Google Keyword Planner if you’d like a second opinion.
Use These Keywords Where They Count
We strongly advise against overstuffing your content with keywords to avoid any Google penalties, so the idea of using your keywords correctly trumps using them often. With that, the best places to correctly use your keywords are as follows:
Page title: the title of your page
Page URL slug: the second part of your page’s URL that identifies individual pages. An example would be (/category/latest-articles/). Note, if you use WordPress, your slug is typically taken from your page title anyway.
First couple of lines in the first paragraph: it’s best to include your 1-2 core keywords early on, in the first paragraph (preferably the first couple of sentences, if possible).
Page subheadings: the descriptions under each header
Image ALT text: the descriptions of your images. Note, these are not visible to your readers.
Consider The Semantics Of Your Writing
We’ll be straight with you.
There are likely dozens (if not more) of companies doing and writing about the same kind of things that you are. When you have competition, it’s important to find ways to stand out. When writing, it’s important to maintain a consistent tone of voice that personifies your brand’s values and communicates directly to your core audience(s) and their needs.
In other words, give your audience a reason to come back.
Repurpose Your Articles As Videos + Infographics
The more avenues you can find for diversifying your content, the better. For example, you can take the same topic and corresponding points and turn them into:
? in-depth video guides/tutorials for YouTube
? infographics for Pinterest
? vlogs for Facebook and Instagram
The more ways you can get people to consume your content, the more opportunities you get for people finding and linking to your content. Additionally, this is a great tactic for getting more from each piece of content you create!
Establish An On-Page Monitoring Routine
What’s the point of optimizing all of this content if you aren’t going to maintain it? To take this a step further, there’s always, and we mean always room for improvement.
The best way to find room for improvement? Monitor your organic traffic and connect the dots.
We start with Google Search Console, which highlights sources of organic traffic. From there, SEMRush gives us all of the more specific information we need that fills in any blanks we may have. It’s often best to break larger goals into smaller, more attainable goals – just make sure you’re tracking consistent KPIs for consistent results.
*Also note Ahrefs and Majestic are excellent tools as well.*
Always Check For Off-Site Signals
On-site SEO is just part of the battle. For instance, building quality backlinks is integral to building your Domain Authority, which is how Google decides how to rank similar pages. In other words, it can be seen as a tie-breakier that can really make or break your position in the SERPs.
Understand that much like SEO, Link Building is a process in itself. Don’t get discouraged. Set yourself some achievable goals and work towards them. If there’s too much on your plate, we know a great agency that’s always ready to assist!
As you probably expected, SEO isn’t a walk in the park. It takes time, manpower, analytical skills and a level of responsiveness that isn’t always easy to find. Sure, with the right team and enough resources, you can do your SEO yourself… by why would you? Contact the experts at Active Web Group for a complimentary consultation. We’ll pinpoint your strengths and weaknesses and draft a plan that can help your SEO efforts in the short and long-term. We have over 20 years of experience helping companies of all sizes and across dozens of industries. Can’t wait? Give us a call at (800) 978-3417 today!